Pinot Noirs are a favourite of mine no matter what time of year it is, but when the weather warms and everyone starts drinking more whites that’s when I start to enjoy Pinot Noir the most.
Especially when the BBQ is purring along, and everyone is crowded onto the deck for yet another languid weekend dinner. Sure, starting with a sparkling or a vibrant white is a brilliant way to kick off the evening. But the smell of marinated grilling meat makes me start to long for a quality, luscious Pinot to enjoy with the firey, spicy flavours.
Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are the more classic matches for a barbecue. But I find Pinot Noir is a better choice when the sun’s burn is still fresh and the thought of heavy red wines is too much to bear. It’s actually even more a perfect match when the meat has been marinating in chilli or pungent spices. It cuts through the heat and washes the whole thing down in way that’s thrilling and quenching all in one.
This amazing value offering from Akarua in the Central Otago region of New Zealand, is an excellent Pinot Noir. While the price point is a tad higher than your everyday offerings (around $35.00) it really is worth spending a little more once in a while to experience just how smooth and sexy good Pinot can be.
It’s a deep, dark Pinot this one, with a cherry-red hue, and a subtle smokey – almost chocolately flavour – that’s hiding behind bucket loads of black currants and cherries. It’s a little like popping a dark chocolate covered cherry in your mouth with a chaser of smoked almonds. It’s gutsy too, with enough weight for it to stand up to hubby’s “they’re very well-done – oops” offerings from the grill.
Price: Around $35.00
Rating: 41/2 A truly great wine
Available from: Good bottle shops and online retailers.